COVID cases slump, to further drop if consistent over next weeks  

Despite a high TPR and absolute number of deaths, the government’s recent announcement to make available over 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the December, has given new hope to people  

The country on Sunday logged 3.11 lakh fresh cases and 4,077 deaths. Photo: PTI

After reporting an upwards of four lakh cases per day for four consecutive days (May 6 to 9), India started seeing a slight decline in the new cases of coronavirus in the last week (May 9 to 15). According to the official data, this decline hints towards a further drop in cases, but the trend can be confirmed only after there is a consistent fall in cases over a few weeks.

India has reported a total of 2.43 crore COVID-19 cases as of May 15, according to health ministry data. More than 2 crore of these patients have recovered or have been discharged from hospitals, leaving the number of active cases at 36.73 lakh. The active cases have declined after 64 days since the drop in cases on May 14. A total of 2.66 lakh deaths have been reported in India due to coronavirus.

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During the last week (May 9 to 15), the country reported more than 24 lakh new cases of the virus. The daily average of new cases stands at 3.54 lakh cases while that of recoveries is 3.57 lakh cases. A total of 25.01 lakh patients have recovered from the disease over the last seven days. The increasing gap between the recoveries and cases also hints at a potential decline in cases in the coming days.

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The highest number of cases in a day was reported on May 9 (4.03 lakh cases) while the least number of cases were reported at the end of the week on May 15 (3.26 lakh cases). India had exceeded a daily number of one lakh cases on April 5, since then it never dropped below to date.The increase in the number of deaths due to coronavirus is still one of the alarming parameters of the pandemic in the country.

Though the death rate of the country stands at 1.09 per cent, the absolute number of deaths is much higher (highest in the world) due to the increasing spread of the virus. The death rate is the number of patients who succumbed to death out of every hundred infected persons.

A total of 27,937 deaths has been reported in the last week. The country reported an average of about four thousand deaths each day for more than a week. The highest 4,205 deaths were reported on Wednesday (May 12) in the last week.

The test positivity rate (TPR) in India is another worrying parameter of the pandemic in the country. TPR is the number of positive patients per hundred tested. The TPR of the country has come below 20 per cent during the last week. It came down to 17.83 per cent on Tuesday (May 12) after more than two weeks. The highest TPR in the week was on Monday (24.83 per cent) while the lowest was on Wednesday (17.56 per cent), according to the official data.

The vaccination drive in the country is widely being criticised across the media due to the shortage of vaccines in many of the states over the last few weeks. The decline in the daily number of vaccinations is clearly evident from the official data. The daily vaccination has come down to about twenty lakh doses a day from more than 35 lakh doses a day in April.The recent statement by Niti Aayog member, Dr V K Paul, is a ray of hope for the vaccination programme in India.

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Paul said that the country is expected to get more than two billion doses (enough to vaccinate the whole country) of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year from about eight manufacturers.

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